Ahaziah's year of folly

1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.

The unhappy state of Judah, the miseries arising from the foreign invasions of the Philistines and Arabians, the wars undertaken against Edom and Libnah, with the evils within that would follow upon the suppression of the temple service, and the undoing of the good Jehoshaphat had brought to pass - this unhappy state of affairs which would not cease from the accession of a son coming from such a stock.

The tree - bad in Ahab and Jezebel - was made far worse in Jehoram and Athaliah; the fruit of such an union proves worthy of the tree equally corrupt with its bearers.

"Can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit?"


2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned 1 year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.

3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.

The friendliness commenced with Jehoshaphat towards Ahab would naturally increase after the two families had inter-married. Thus we find Ahaziah repeating his grandfather's action in helping Ahab; he joins with his uncle Joram, Ahab's son, in battle against the Assyrians at Ramoth-Gilead.*

4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of Yahweh like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.

5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.

6 And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.

7 And the destruction of Ahaziah was of Elohim by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Yahweh had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

Thus was the eighth son of the house of David slain, destroyed by the sword of God in the hand of Jehu; and again is the throne of Judah vacant. We look now for a son of Ahaziah to succeed, as had been the case with all former kings, for Ahaziah had many sons. But no, there is now to be a new thing in the earth as concerning the rulers in Judah.

The opportunity has at last presented itself; the throne is within her grasp, and Athaliah's ambition is satisfied.

"Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem" (2 Kgs. 8:26).

He was therefore but twenty-three years old at his death; the children were young and tender, and at least had claims on the natural affection of Athaliah - her own flesh and blood, her own grandchildren.

But natural affection under the teaching of Baal had no proper place: its devotees were like brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed. A ritual that made prostitution a religious obligation would be utterly incapable of producing either a moral character or developing those finer sentiments so abounding in the Law of Moses and teaching of Christ.

These filthy abominations were practiced in the very House of the Lord itself - in that glorious temple built for His worship and service. So utterly degenerate had Israel become that Baal was established in Zion and Yahweh forgotten (2 Kgs. 23:4).

We readily understand the hatred such practices would engender in the human mind against those things written in that Book which the kings of Israel were commanded to study. To Athaliah it would be an intolerable burden, grievous indeed, and in like measure to those priests of Baal abounding in Jerusalem.

No such opportunity for serving Baal in Judah had before been possible. Now was the golden chance - the pinnacle of fame to be reached - High Priestess of Baal and Queen of Judah!*

8 And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them.

9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Yahweh with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.

The murderous hostility of the mother against the priests of God, finds its counterpart in the daughter. True to the family instinct Athaliah stops short at no crime that serves her ambition and animosity. Void of all that is admirable and lovely in woman, the innocent children are ruthlessly slaughtered - her intention being to exterminate the house of David, and -


Bro Growcott - A woman on David's throne